UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA,
RECEIVED BY EXCHANGE
Academy of Science
VOLUME IV, PART 1.
Twelfth Annual Report.
BATRACHIANS AND REPTILES OF OHIO. IOQ
adults are commonly found in cellars, under boards, near springs,
as well as under logs in damp places. When the colder weather
of autumn sets in, individuals are frequently found entering sewer
pipes where a promise of warmth is given. Several are taken
each autumn in the basement of the Biological Hall at O. S. U.
This species is generally killed outright by those who believe
them to be dangerous. They are harmless.
Very common over the State, in fact one of our most familiar
Specimens in U. S. Nat. Mus., recorded by Cope from Columbus and
Marietta. In O. S. U. Mus., collected by E. V. Wilcox and the author from
Amblystoma xiphias Cope. Similar to preceding, but ground color,
light yellow. Tail long, exceeding in length that of head and body. Costal
grooves twelve. Head small in proportion to body. Lower jaw prominently
projecting. Canthus rostralis, distinct.
This is a doubtful species, inasmuch as but one specimen is
known. This is in the U. S. N. M., being collected at Columbus,
Ohio. The present writer has carefully examined every speci-
men that has come under his notice and but one showed any
approach to Cope's description. (Cope, '89.) This had the
length of tail equal to that of head and body and a slightly pro-
jecting lower jaw, while the ground color was a light yellow.
(Morse, '01, May.) But gradations occur between such a type
and the normal form and it is doubtful whether it is a valid
Specimen in U. S. Nat. Mus., recorded by Cope from Columbus.
Amblystoma jeffersonianum jeffersonianum Green. Body slender
and elongated. Head long, width being four times in length to groin.
Costal furrows 12. Tail nearly equal to head and body. Ground color
brown to black, with a sprinkling of light spots a quarter of an inch or less
in diameter. Sometimes no spots are visible. Length 8 inches or under.
This sub-species differs from the following, platineum, by
having a wider head, under parts not paler than upper, blotches
dirty white, eye smaller.
Specimens in the U. S. Nat. Mus., recorded by Cope from Ripley and
Cleveland. In Cin. Soc. Nat. His., collected by C. . W. Hohn in Hamilton
Co. ; in Oberlin College, collected by Lynds Jones in Lorain Co.
HO OHIO STATK ACADEMY OF SCIENCE.
Amblystoma jeffersonianum platineum Cope. Plumbeous, paler
below. Width of head less than three times in length to groin. Eye larger.
Body-length longer. Costal grooves 12.
The sub-species platineum resembles somewhat individuals of
Plethodon glutinosus, but it may be told from that species by its
slenderer shape and the absence of parasphenoid teeth.
Little seems to be known of the habits of the sub-species*
DeKay gives them as frequenting springy places. (Paulmier,
'02, p. 399.) In the State they are not common.
Specimens, in the U. S. Nat. Mus., recorded by Cope from Cleveland.
In Oberlin College, collected by Lynds Jones in Lorain County.
7 Amblystoma microstomum Cope. Costal grooves 14. Color black-
ish, with a plumbeous tinge, spotted indistinctly sometimes with lighter.
Head broad, but small, and fusing with the body without a neck being evi-
dent in proportion to body. Lower jaw prominent. Tail not as long as
head and body, round, compressed posteriorly. Legs small. Altogether
the slenderest species. Length 8 inches.
Occurs in the State in general, but more common in hilly
regions. They leave the water after breeding and are to be
found under logs and partly buried in damp turf. The small
eggs are attached to water weeds in little masses. By June they
are ready to leave the water. At times this species leaves its
winter quarters while it is yet winter, being taken in February.
Specimens in the U. S. Nat. Mus., recorded by Cope from Columbus.
In the Mus. Cin. Soc. Nat. His., collected by Chas. Dury in Hamilton Co.;
in O. S. U. Mus., collected by E. V. Wilcox at Lancaster, and E. E. Master-
man at New London.
Family : PLETHODONTIDAE.
Hemidactylum scutatum Tschudi. Above brown, lighter below
where there is a sifting of dark blotches. Sometimes plumbeous dorsally,
snout light. A marbling in the median dorsal region. Costal grooves 13.
Length 3 inches. Toes 4-4.
This species may be distinguished from those of the genus
Plethodon by its having only four toes in the hind feet.
It is a rare species for Ohio, but one specimen being thus far
recorded. However, Hay ('92) mentions forty being taken at
Brookville, Ind., which is within 10 miles of the Ohio-Ind. line.
Specimens in the U. S. N. Mus., recorded by Cope from Ripley, Ohio ;
collected by Hoy.
7. I follow Stejneger in discarding the genus Chondrotus Cope.
BATRACHIANS AND REPTILES OF OHIO. Ill
Plethodon cinereus cinereus Green. Body slender, plumbeous to ash
above ; below a pepper-and-salt appearance, turning to uniform light on the
mid-ventral line. Inner toes reduced. Length 4 inches. In alcohol the
body becomes brownish. Costal grooves 18. Legs small and weak, webbing
well developed. Distinguishable from the following by the absence of the
dorsal band of red.
At Sugar Grove and elsewhere the writer has repeatedly
taken, along with good examples of the following sub-species,
specimens that are referable to the sub-species cinereus.
At Worthiugton, a litter of young was found in which about
one-half were provided with the dorsal red band, and the
remainder showed no sign of it. For reasons such as these,
Jordan ('99) does not recognize the sub-species and the position
seems a correct one. It may be said, however, that in the great
majority of specimens the red band is evident to a greater or less
Specimens in the U. S. Nat. Mus., recorded by Cope from Ripley. In
the O. S. U. Mus., collected by E. V. Wilcox at Sugar Grove, and the author
at Columbus ; in the Cin. Soc. Nat. His. by Dr. Lindahl at Cincinnati.
Plethodon cinereus erythronotus Green. Same as above, but with a
median longitudinal dorsal band of red.
Cope, '89, p. 135 : "I have been unable to detect any dif-
ference in structure, proportions and general character between
this supposed species and the foregoing." Again (1. c. 136),
<l as varieties they are very permanent ones, as I have found all
the young of the same brood or set of eggs, whether in the eggs
or just escaped from them, uniformly with either dark backs or
red ones." From the remarks under the sub-species, cinereus, it
will be seen that the present writer does not agree with Cope.
Wilcox ('91) records "numerous specimens of erythronotus' 1 '' at
same date and place and under same circumstances as the pre-
ceding. Withal the validity of the sub-species is doubtful.
Dr. lyindahl of the Cin. Soc. N. H., writes: "Common
throughout Hamilton Co.; the one colored grey and the chest-
nut-black varieties often occurring in the same litter, together
with intermediate forms with a more or less faint reddish hue
along the back."
The commonest of the salamanders in Ohio at the present
time. Occurs over the State, being found in numbers almost
112 OHIO STATE ACADKMY OF SCIENCE.
everywhere, but especially in ravines and around rocky streams.
They are not aquatic, their eggs being laid under logs, etc. , away
from water. The adults are to be found in comparatively dry
places under rotten wood and stones.
Specimens in the U. S. Nat. Mus., recorded by Cope from Ripley and
Lancaster. In the Cin. Soc. Nat. His., collected by Dr. Lindahl at Cincin-
nati ; in Oberlin College, by Lynds Jones in Lorain Co.; in O. S. U. Mus.,
by E. V. Wilcox at Sugar Grove and Morgan Co. ; by the author at Youngs-
town, Chillicothe, Worthington, Columbus, Nelsonville and in Licking Co.
Plethodon glutinosus Green. Form stout, little distinction between
head, body and tail. Metallic blue above, spotted with specks of silver.
Below lighter, similar in appearance to the preceding. Inner toes developed.
Costal grooves 14. Length 6 inches.
This species may be confused with the sub-species Plethodon
dnereus or with Amblystoma jeffersonianum. From them, how-
ever, it may be distinguished by the presence of fourteen costal
grooves. It is purely a terrestrial species, a denizen of the
mountains and hills. It is to be found under stones and logs on
the sides of hills, often far from water. Smith ('82) : " They
hibernate beneath wet logs and go into the water to breed in
April, in Georgia and probably a little later in our limits."
Hay ('92) considers them wholly terrestrial, in all probability.
It is very common in central, eastern and southern parts of
Specimens in the Oberlin College Museum, collected by Lynds Jones
from Lorain Co. In the O. S. U. Mus., by the author from Youngstown,
Newton Falls and Sugar Grove.
Gyrinophilus porphyriticus Green. Yellow to brown above; sides
light, with a reddish tinge. Light or grey streaks and blotches on back.
Costal furrows 14. Tail compressed, with a well developed keel. Body
flattened. A light line from eye to edge of upper jaw. Below not spotted.
Length 6% inches.
Rare in the State. Intrusions are resented by snapping, and
if carried to extremes, by violent contortions. It is, however,
utterly harmless. Smith ('82) gives it as aquatic, being found
under logs in damp woods and in water. The adults are gen-
erally concealed, the larvae being more readily found.
Specimens in the U. S. Nat. Mus., recorded by Cope from Columbus.
In the Cin. Soc. Nat. His., collected by Dr. Lindahl in Hamilton Co.; in
O. S. U. Mus., from Sugar Grove.
BATRACHIANS AND REPTILES OF OHIO. 113
Spelerpes bilineatus Green. Body yellow above, with a brown line
running on each side of the median line. Below, white without yellow and
without markings. The dorsal bands are made up of confluent spots which
are sometimes isolated, causing the bands to be broken. The mid-dorsal
region is sprinkled with brown dots. Sides mottled, Tail as long as head
and body, not keeled. Costal grooves 14. Length 3^ inches.
A common salamander. It is found always near running
water, although seldom seen in it, but preferring to remain with-
in ready access. A rock or stick partially placed in the water is
a favorite place for concealment. In boggy areas, around springs
and ravines, it is common. Its actions are quick, and this with
its excessive slipperiness, renders it hard to catch. Its eggs are
attached to the under side of stones partially submerged in the
water. Eggs have been taken in the latter part of May. The
form is distributed over the whole of the State but will be more
readily found in the central and eastern portions.
Specimens in the U. S. Nat. Mus., recorded by Cope from Columbus,
Cleveland and Cincinnati. In the Cin. Soc. Nat. His., collected by J. C.
Galloway in Montgomery Co.; in O. S. U. Mus., by the author at Sugar
Grove, Worthington, Youngstown, Chillicothe and Licking Co.
Spelerpes longicaudus Green. Resembling in a way the foregoing,
but tail nearly twice length of head and body. Yellow deeper with irregu-
lar black markings. A series of such spots runs along the median dorsal
line. Below immaculate. Tail compressed, keeled, spotted as above.
Length 5^ inches.
A terrestrial species. Unlike bilineatus, it is found generally
away from water, being concealed under logs and stones. In
August, at Youngstown, the writer found it abundant along Mill
Creek in piles of stones near the water. On being disturbed
they would seldom run towards the water but generally in an
opposite direction. The common name "Cave Salamander" is
a misnomer, as it is seldom found in caves. Smith ('82) gives
it as aquatic, which is certainly a mistake. Vide Garman ('91):
Very common over the State.
Specimens in the U. S. Nat. Mus., recorded by Cope from Cincinnati,
Columbus, Lancaster and Highland Co. In the Cin. Soc. Nat. His., col-
lected by Dr. Lindahl from Hamilton and Montgomery Cos.; in O. S. U.
Mus., collected by E. V. Wilcox at Ellis Station ; Dr. Smith at Lancaster,
and by the author at Youngstown and Chillicothe. Also at Sugar Grove.
114 OHIO STATE ACADEMY OP SCIENCE.
Spelerpes ruber ruber Daudin. Body vermilion, spotted with black
dots above. Sometimes the spots are confluent. Below the dots are smaller
and more closely packed together. Head broad and blunt ; dark bar across
eye. Tail short. Length 6 inches. Costal grooves 15.
A most beautiful animal. It is a most conspicuous object
when uncovered amongst stones and leaves, and whatever use the
color subserves, it certainly is not protective, unless as a warn-
ing. They will remain motionless when uncovered until touched,
when they move leisurely away. It occurs in hilly regions and
is aquatic, being found in swamps and around springs. In the
hilly regions of the State, common.
Specimens in the U. S. Nat. Mus., recorded by Cope from Cincinnati
and Columbus. In Oberlin College, collected by Lynds Jones in Lorain Co.;
in O. S. U. Mus., from Fairfield Co., and by the author in Licking Co.
Family : DESMOGNATHIDAE.
Desmognathus ochrophaea Cope. Brownish, yellow dorsally, brown
'laterally. Median dorsal band yellow, with black blotches and dots. Below
yellowish, unspotted. Costal folds 13. Size small. Tail cylindrical. No
teeth in rear of lower jaw. Length 3 inches.
This salamander may be confused with Spelerpes bilineatus or
with Desmognathus fusca. From the former it may be told by
the yellow on the belly and the presence of a light bar from eye
to corner of mouth. From the latter, it is readily told by the
rounded tail and (in males) by the absence of teeth in the rear
of the lower jaw.
It is an eastern species, a resident of the mountains and is
placed here on the strength of a single specimen taken at Sugar
Grove, December, 'or, which agrees with Cope's description.
Dr. J. Lindahl, of the Cin. Soc. N. H., kindly examined the
specimen and agreed with the writer in his identification. Pre-
viously it has not been recorded west of the mountains of Penn-
sylvania. Its habitat is given by Paulmier ('02 ) as " under bark ;
not aquatic." The Sugar Grove specimen was taken far up on
a hill, far from the water a most anomalous place for D. fusca,
if such it is.
In O. S. U. Mus., collected by the author at Sugar Grove.
BATRACHIANS AND REPTILES OF OHIO. 115
Desmognathus fusca fusca Raf. Above dark, with a median dorsal
band of lighter generally brown in color and specked with black. Below
grey with black specks forniing a marbling. Often the ground color above
is brown, the median band being a lighter brown on the belly, the light pre-
dominating. Very variable in color. Costal grooves 14. Length 4^ inches.
The sub-species jiisca, the commonest of our more aquatic
salamanders, is distinguishable from the following sub-species,
'duriculata, by the absence of a series of reddish spots along the
sides and also of a conspicuous ear- spot, the latter giving auriculata
its sub-specific name. As fusca grows older, it becomes darker
and darker, the several markings becoming less and less conspic-
uous. It may be found almost anywhere where a stream of
water flows over rocks that may give it shelter. On turning
over stones, not completely submerged, a specimen or two of this
salamander generally is seen making for the water which affords
it concealment. As soon as the intruder withdraws, the sala-
mander emerges from the water and takes its station beneath a
convenient stone. In breeding season, the female lies concealed
under a stone with the eggs either wrapped in strings about her
body or herself curled about the mass.
In Ohio this is the prevalent form and is very common in all
parts of the State. The larvae attain a length of three inches
before becoming mature and inhabit springs and small bodies of
water. They are brown, with black dots above, lighter below,
retaining also the black dotting. The gills are short and incon-
spicuous. Sometimes the back is dotted here and there with livid
specks of red, but this disappears in the adult condition. These
larvae are the common "lizards" of springs and are held to be
poisonous. Of course they are absolutely harmless.
Specimens in the U. S. Nat. Mus., recorded by Cope from Columbus,
Highlmd Co. and Cincinnati. In the O. S. U. Mus., collected by J. C. Brid-
well at Dublin ; E. V. Wilcox in Warren Co.; by the author at Sugar Grove,
Youngstown, Chillicothe, Newton Falls and Licking and Perry Cos.
Desmognathus fusca auriculata Holb. As above, but darker, with a
series of red dots along the sides and a black ear-spot. Dark predominant
Not common in the State. One specimen in U. S. N. M.
from Cincinnati. Habits as above. A form found in the South
In U. S. Nat. Mus., recorded by Cope from Cincinnati.
Il6 OHIO STATE ACADEMY OF SCIENCE.
Family : PLEURODELIDAE.
Diemyctylus viridescens viridescens Raf. Toes 4-5, outer and inner
toes on hind foot rudimentary. Body above brown to olive, below yellowish.
Sides of adults with a series of large red spots, each encircled by a brown
ring. Below speckled with brown. Tail much compressed. Length 3^
This sub-species is the common Newt of the Eastern States.
It is altogether aquatic, living in springs and deep running water.
In Ohio it is known from but one specimen from Lancaster,
mentioned by Wilcox ('91).
In O. S. U. Mus., collected by E. V. Wilcox at Lancaster.
Diemyctylus viridescens miniatus Raf. Similar to above, but ground
color, brick red. The red coloring of the lateral spots therefore is less con-
spicuous. The skin is rough, being covered with minute warts. Tail cylin-
This is the common representative of the genus in the State.
It is never found in numbers but may be looked for in all parts
of Ohio. It occurs under rotten logs, in stumps and under stones
often far from water. The form is very conspicuous and stands
out from its environment very decidedly. It is not active in its
movements and may be readily captured. The tongue is free
and by means of that organ the food is obtained in the manner
of the common toad.
Specimens in the U. S. Nat. Mus., recorded by Cope from Cincinnati.
In Oberlin College by Lynds Jones from Lorain Co.; in Cin. Soc. Nat. His.,
collected by E. E. Masterman at New London ; in O. S. U. Mus., collected
at Lancaster by E. V. Wilcox ; at Clintonville by J. C. Bridwell, and at
Newton Falls by the author. Also reported from Sugar Grove.
Order: SAUENTIA Laurenti.
This order includes the toads and frogs, i. e., the tailless
Batrachia. The larvae are similar to those of the order just
completed, being provided with gills and spending their larval
period in water, feeding on vegetable matter. They are commonly
known as "tad-poles." When metamorphosis takes place, they
leave the water, losing the gills and the tail and gaining four
strong legs and a pair of lungs ; the alimentary canal becomes
shortened for a carnivorous habit. The order is divisible on
anatomical and physiological grounds into two tribes, viz :
BATRACHIANS AND REPTILES OF OHIO. 1 17
1. Thoracic region capable of expansion by virtue of the
fact that the cartilage connecting the two clavicles and coracoids
in the median line is double, the two parts sliding on each
2. Thorax not capable of expansion because the cartilage
is single and immovable. FIRMISTERNIA.
The Arcifera embraces the tree- toads and toads ; the Mrmi-
sternia, the frogs.
Tribe : ARCIFERA.
Family : BUFONIDAE.
Bufo lentiginosus americanus (Le C.). Brownish to olive, vertebral
line yellowish. Adults with skin covered with warts of varying size. Head
4> times in total length of body. Below yellowish. Bony ridges above and
behind eye ; eye small. Length 3^ inches.
This is the common toad in Ohio. It is extremely variable,
both in point of structure and color. At Cedar Point, Sandusky,
Ohio, the majority of the toads found are light grey in color,
whereas on the mainland around Sandusky, where a more humid
condition obtains, a dark brown color is prevalent among the
toads. A reddish hue is sometimes met with in the toads on the
bleak hills in southern and south-eastern Ohio. Thus at Nelson-
ville the writer obtained several brick- red specimens. In each
case the color must have been assumed after the adult condition
had been reached since the young were of a uniform brownish or
olive color. The specimen labeled Bufo lentiginosus lentiginosus
Shaw, in the O. S. U. Zoological Museum from Columbus and
Knox Co., is referable to the sub-species americanus. (Morse,
Toads lay their eggs as soon as the warmer weather of spring
begins. The eggs are laid in strings which are wrapped around
water weeds and debris in general in small running streams. The
eggs are smaller than those of the frogs, the latter being laid in
mulberry-like masses, by which the two may be distinguished
Wilcox ('91) records a specimen taken on November 29th,
while another \vas captured January loth. These are extreme
dates as toads generally appear for the first time about April ist,.
and begin to hibernate in October.
II 8 OHIO STATE ACADEMY OF SCIENCE.
The toad is one of our best friends inasmuch as the number
of flies and insects that he devours daily is prodigious. It is
needless to say in this connection that the superstition that holds
among many, that evil effects will follow the killing of a toad is
a most advantageous belief, but bears a different interpretation.
Did there exist more such superstitions the cause of scientific
agriculture would be strengthened tenfold.
Generally distributed over the State, common everywhere.
Specimens in the U. S. Nat. Mus., recorded by Cope from Marietta. In
the Oberlin College Museum, collected by Lynds Jones from Ivorain Co.; in
O. S. U. Mus., collected by the author at Cedar Point, Vinton, Youngstown,
Chillicothe, Newton Falls and Licking Co.
Family : HYLIDAE.
Acris gryllus crepitans Baird. Above olive-brown, with an inverted
*' Y "-shaped green area; the median parts of the "Y" extend along the
vertebral line, the forking taking place on the rump. Brown triangle
between eyes. Sides marked with three oblong blotches. White line from
eye to shoulder. Disks of fingers small, not webbed. Toes with broad webs.
Snout blunt. Inner surface of thigh immaculate. Length i ^ inch.
The Cricket-frog is well known to anyone who frequents the
river-side or the swamp less, however, by its appearance than its
note. If one can imagine a rattling of pebbles mingled with the
screech of a violin string in a high note, he may have a sugges-
tion of the Cricket- frog's note. When given it is either a contin-
uous chirp or given in sets of chirps of three each, each rising in
pitch. So nearly does the color of the frog blend with that of
its surroundings that it is detected with but the greatest difficulty.
In the Cricket- frog we have virtually a Tree-frog with ter-
restrial habits. The presence of the terminal suckers on the toes
would seem to indicate a former arboreal mode of life. Common
Specimens in O. S. U. Museum from Central College, Franklin, Dela-
ware, Lawrence, Warren, Fairfield, Ottawa and Knox Cos., and collected by
the author from Ross and Trumbull Cos., and at Youngstown, Newark
Chorophilus triseriatus Wied. Toes scarcely webbed ; fingers without
webs. Ground color above ashy, with a brownish median dorsal stripe,
dividing into two above in middle of body. Lateral to this on either side
and running parallel on level with ear is a brownish stripe. A third stripe
runs along the sides of the head from the snout backward, making in all six
.stripes running more or less parallel. Length I inch.
BATRACHIANS AND RKPlTLES OF OHIO. 119
This is the so-called " Little Tree-Toad," a name that would
probably be appropriate if the little fellow ever climbed trees !
It is to be found in swamps on low herbage or on the ground. It
has a note somewhat similar to the preceding species, but the
pitch is higher and the rattle is less definite. The note is seldom
heard in daylight hours except on dark days. The writer has
never heard it, as Cope says, in the hottest hours.
Smith ('82) gives this form as rare in Ohio. At the present
time this is scarcely true .since it has been found common in vari-
ous parts of the State. Thus along the Ohio shore of Lake Erie
it is common in the swamps. Prof. J. S. Hine found several at
Kent, and in the north-eastern part of the State.